KULA, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Haleakala National Park urged visitors to drive especially safely on Friday, Jan. 8, while traversing the park’s narrow, winding roads as increased wildlife activity is expected during the nene nesting season.
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Winter conditions such as wind, rain and poor visibility can make spotting the birds difficult, according to Park officials.
A male adult nene from a known breeding pair was hit and killed on a park road on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, and staff are asking for the public’s help in preventing future fatalities.
Below is a list of tips from Haleakala National Park to help keep the state bird safe.
- Follow speed limits and drive cautiously — especially near the summit park entrance and Headquarters Visitor Center.
- Watch out for nene and other wildlife. Stop the vehicle when wildlife is spotted on or near roadways.
- Turn on hazard lights to safely warn other cars to stop.
- Allow nene to completely move off the road before continuing to drive.
- Inspect the area around your vehicle for birds after parking in the lot.
There are approximately 3,500 nene birds in Hawaii and less than 500 are found on the island of Maui. A majority of nene birds nest between October and March, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
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